Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 20, 2007

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower, but the lawn is mostly horse herb, carpet grass, and mixed tall prairie grasses. What else can I plant in the shade that are native flowers? Could the grasses be replaced by cedar or Texas sedge in the sandy soil of Bastrop County? Would the sedge out compete the horse herb?

ANSWER:

There are three sedges that should do well in your area:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

The sedges are usually a little slow to get established, but Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy or horse herb) should not out-compete them. To manage the grasses that are already there, you are going to have to dig them out and keep removing them as they reappear to keep them from taking over.

Here are a few other plants that do well in shade or part shade that are native to Bastrop County.

Ornamental grasses:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Wildflowers:

Geum canadense (white avens)

Ruellia nudiflora (violet wild petunia)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens (late purple aster)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)


Carex texensis

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Geum canadense

Ruellia nudiflora

Salvia lyrata

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens

Calylophus berlandieri

Viola sororia

Phyla nodiflora

Lobelia cardinalis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Texas natives that are shade tolerant for Austin, TX
January 21, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for Texas native plants that are shade tolerant....specifically agaves (How about the Century Agave and the Queen Victoria Agave?) and something to add a splash ...
view the full question and answer

Natives for a raised, part-shade bed in Pearland TX
March 29, 2010 - I have a couple of raised beds that I want to plant a few shrubs (3 feet tall), perennials, and annuals. I want all the plants to be native to Texas. The only problem is that I am not plant knowledgea...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
May 23, 2008 - Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
view the full question and answer

Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
May 25, 2010 - What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.